Sei Young Kim has late birdie run to take Women’s PGA lead


She was runner-up at the 2015 KPMG Women's PGA Championship and tied for second at the Evian Championship in 2018.

Sei Young Kim shot the best round of the week in the KPMG Women's PGA Championship, closing with a 7-under 63 at Aronimink for a five-shot victory and her first major championship. While Kim maintained a two-shot lead, she further extended that with back-to-back birdies on the par-4 13th and par-3 14th.

"I'm actually really hiding my tears at the moment", she said after a record-breaking victory. Kim's bogey-free round of seven-under-par, 63, was good enough to tie the record for the tournament.

At the par-5 16th, Kim found the rough off the tee, and her second shot also landed in deep grass, but she still picked up her sixth birdie of the day.

And who could forget the extraordinary birdie Hannah Green made on Hazeltine's notorious 16 hole on Sunday previous year, trumped only by the nerveless up and down for par from a greenside bunker on the final hole? "Definitely a different feeling", she said.

"The birdie on 14 was pretty good because it was a long birdie putt, and that's when I started the four-birdie streak", Kim said. I didn't feel like I was ready to come play this type of a golf course. "I really tried to stay composed during the tournament, during the round, and I'm happy that I got it done". Before Sunday, she held the distinction of being the winningest active player on the LPGA Tour without a major championship. She joins Sophia Popov (Women's British Open) and Mirim Lee (ANA Inspiration) as this year's major champions. "It was a major that I really wanted", Kim was quoted as saying.

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"Sometimes it's hard to believe that I'm a major champion", Henderson said. Kim took home $645,000 for her effort.

Melissa Reid and Georgia Hall, who have both won on the LPGA Tour in recent weeks, finished at five over and 11 over after rounds of 70 and 73 respectively.

In the final Korn Ferry Tour event of the year, Mullinax won for the second time on the circuit. She picked up three more victories in 2019.

Ciganda, a 30-year-old Spaniard, suffered through a lengthy bout of COVID-19 earlier this year that left her quarantined in her Arizona apartment for at least a month.

Kim posted two top-10s in her first two tournaments of this season in January.

CARY, N.C.: Ernie Els birdied the final two holes, running in a 40-footer in the rain on the last, for a 6-under 66 and a one-stroke victory over Colin Montgomerie in the SAS Championship.

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